This week’s Dan’s Papers cover artist, and creator of the 2018 Hampton Classic poster, Jennifer Brandon grew up in Pennsylvania, surrounded by horses, and recalls spending her days “brushing, riding and caring for [them], all the while studying their shapes, form and essence.”
She says, “This ingrained in me a natural understanding of the nuances of equine anatomy and movement, and instilled a deep reverence for the majesty and beauty inherent in these creatures.”
What was the inspiration for this year’s art, “Splash of Red,” featured on the cover?
I loved the clear connection between this horse and rider, and was drawn to the beautiful energy they exhibited as a unified pair. The contrast between the black horse and the vast blue sky was striking, and I couldn’t resist the temptation to paint it!
Will you be at the Classic this year?
Absolutely. I’ve been exhibiting at the Hampton Classic for the past seven years! You can find me in the Boutique Garden where I’ll be doing a live painting demo throughout the week, so you can view the creative process in person.
What’s the driving force behind your work?
The emotion of an animal’s portrait is where I find my greatest inspiration. I’ve always been in awe of how the horse embodies both grace and strength, creating a dynamic range of elements to paint.
It’s that elusive moment of active beauty that captures my attention and immerses me in the creative flow in my studio. Oils allow me to express this motion. It’s an active art for me, integrating bold expressive strokes with deliberate and illustrative brushwork. It’s more about knowing when to stop “talking” (painting) so that the oils can really sing.
Is there a particular artist working today whose work you follow or admire?
Deb Hamby is an oil painting artist I have the utmost respect for, and I truly admire the work she’s accomplished. She continues to inspire and create. I especially enjoy her landscape and Italy-inspired paintings, where skies are vast and culture runs deep. Her ability to express both portraits and landscapes with equal mastery is impressive. Her work exudes her positive and kind spirit, and best of all, she’s my mom.
If you could sit down to coffee with any artist from history, who would it be and what would you talk about?
I’d love to have coffee with Rien Poortvliet. I’ve been uniquely drawn to his work since I was a child, and I’d love to chat about his life as an artist, living on a farm with all sorts of horses and other animals. He had a way of illustrating life on a farm that conveys the story of artist, animal lover and caretaker.
He expressed the nuances of farm life and being a creative through sketches, illustrations and fine art paintings. The whimsey in his illustrative storytelling has always compelled me, and leaves me with a smile on my face every time I peruse his art books.
Do you offer custom work?
I love creating custom work for my clients and expressing their story through the medium of oil paints. The Hampton Classic is the perfect place to commission a painting of that once-in-a-lifetime animal in your life. If you can’t make it to the show you’re always welcome to email me at [email protected] or call 570-575-4536. I’d love to chat with you about your painting.
Find more of Jennifer Brandon’s work at jenbrandonstudio.com or at the Hampton Classic, August 26–September 6 in Bridgehampton.